It's become a daily routine for Chuck Pagano to be asked about wide receiver Reggie Wayne's status, and it's also become a part of that routine for the Colts coach to say that Wayne's status is still undecided.
"No, not really," Pagano answered when asked whether he'd made a decision about Reggie's status. "He had a good week of practice. He's been obviously doing better each and every day, and again we're monitoring that situation closely. We'll come in tomorrow, have our final preparation, do our mock game, see where he's at, evaluate it and then it will be a game-time decision."
While Pagano didn't give any real insight as to whether Reggie will play or not Saturday against the Saints, he did give a look into the thought process behind possibly holding the receiver out. "It would just be between the doctors and myself. We made a decision based on just the status of that knee," Pagano said. "He's been cleared, he's 100 percent, all that stuff. Say it swelled tonight, he had some fluid on it or something, came in here, then I wouldn't play him, something like that."
We all know that Reggie Wayne wants to be out there. Chuck Pagano knows that too. But he said that Reggie doesn't get a say in whether he plays or not and that it's between the coach and the doctors. "Sometimes you've got to make decisions that are tough decisions," Pagano said, "but decisions that are best for the player and the organization moving forward big picture wise, and protect them from themselves sometimes."
Reggie also spoke to the media Thursday, and while he clearly wants to play, he's respecting Pagano's decision and waiting for him to make the call. "I'm in the bullpen," Reggie said. "I'm just waiting on them to pick up the phone and tell me to come in. I've had a pretty good week of practice. The week's not over with. We'll just sit back and see what Coach Pagano says. I know he's erring towards caution. I did hear somewhere he said he might, so I guess there is hope. But at the same time, if he says no go, then I guess it's a no go. The one thing about it is, I am ready, whenever he gives me the opportunity, to go out there and do whatever I can."
Reggie also clearly doesn't want the first time he gets hit to be in week one against the Broncos, but he also maintained that he can adjust if he doesn't play and that he'll be fine - perhaps even letting his kids tackle him a bit in the living room to get ready. He said that in an ideal world he'd get out there and take a hit and get used to the offense, but he understands if Pagano doesn't let him go until week one.
One player who's status is decided for this weekend, however, is outside linebacker Robert Mathis. Someone asked Pagano if he would share Mathis' status, and Pagano said, "I will, and he won't." Simple as that. Robert Mathis won't play - not because of injury or anything but rather the Colts are just holding him out. We looked at the possibility (likelihood, actually) earlier this week that Mathis might not play at all in the preseason, and it sounds like that's exactly what's going to happen and that Mathis' first action of the season will come October 5th against the Baltimore Ravens.
As for Reggie, if he doesn't play this weekend, he most likely won't be playing at all this preseason, as the starters hardly ever play in the fourth game. It's a decision that Chuck Pagano will have to make, but one he hasn't made yet.